While there’s usually an event planned for buyback at Riverland Community College’s three bookstore locations, that’s not always the case with the beginning of the semester. This year, Bookstore Buyer Carissa Drake decided to mix things up a bit.
"I like looking through the marketing plans [on Foreword Online] to see what we can adapt for our stores," she said. "We don't have many dorms, so the ones revolving around move-in day or accessorizing a dorm room wouldn't really fit for us. I create the bulk of our promotional materials (in addition to being the Austin campus store buyer for supplies, gifts, and clothing), so I needed to choose something pretty simple. I was struck by the "Win the Window" plan, and knew we'd be able to make that one work well for all 3 of our stores."
The original marketing plan recommended combining the promotion with textbook reservations, but Drake simplified it by making the requirement just an online or in-store purchase. So far, the majority of entries have been from students placing online orders, but that should change next week when students are able to use their financial aid.
The winner at each location will walk away with over $85 in prizes, including school essentials like notebooks, binders, pens, highlighters and the latest Riverland T-shirt. All three stores are offering the same prizes, but in different colors.
To be eligible, participants simply make a purchase from the Albert Lea, Owatonna or Austin campus stores during the month of August. To receive a second entry, they can post a picture of the item they like best and tag it with #RiverlandBTS on Instagram. On Aug. 28, the staff will randomly select a winner and post their name on Instagram.
“It was a lot of fun to think of what we’d put in the window,” Drake said. “And we’ve gotten a lot of feedback from faculty and staff members about how cute the kitty in the picture is.
So far, there’s been a good response, though the store’s Instagram presence is still a work in progress.
“Instagram is really new for us, so we don’t have many followers yet,” she said. “So far so good, though — our ‘likes’ have been decent!”
This is the third Foreword Online marketing plan Drake has used over the past year, after also getting good results from “New Year, New You” and “Clear Out the Clutter.”
"The great part about the MBS marketing plans is that they're general enough to be adaptable, and the posters and flyers are already ready - you just have to type in the information. The only real challenge is figuring out what will work for your store, and what you'll need to adjust. For example, our Owatonna campus store doesn't have a window, so one of the employees there had assembled the display on a table."
Each campus received about 75 entries during the contest — these ladies were the lucky winners!
If you’ve used one of our marketing plans at your store, let us know! We'd love to feature you in a future store story.